According to the American Gem Society, the serene blue-green color of aquamarine, the March birthstone, is said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and even-keeled. If that sounds appealing in these turbulent times, perhaps we all might consider purchasing a piece of aquamarine jewelry — whether or not our birthday falls in March. Here are a few collectible aquamarine jewels from Sotheby’s and Christie’s to inspire us.
A Bluebird of Happiness
Aquamarine fans will be among those gathering in London on March 22 for Sotheby’s Fine Jewels sale. Featuring more than 280 lots, the auction includes an important aquamarine brooch by innovative French designer Pierre Sterlé.
Designed circa 1970, the gem-set and diamond brooch resembles a stylized bird “…composed of overlaid squared rods bursting into flight and set throughout with circular-cut sapphires and brilliant-cut diamonds, around a cabochon aquamarine body.”
The aquamarine and diamond bird brooch by Sterlé is estimated at $29,000 to $39,000.
Classic Cartier Aquamarines
Aquamarines have been central to the designs of famed jeweler Cartier ever since the Art Deco period. Several important examples from the 1930s appeared at auction at Christie’s in 2014.
In a statement about the June sale, Christie’s New York auctioneers explained the allure of the March birthstone: “At their best, aquamarines display a fresh light blue which, when paired with diamonds, creates a chic and subtle, yet bold, combination.”
Writing about the November 2014 Christie’s London sale, jewelry expert Joanna Hardy praised a pair of Cartier Art Deco aquamarine and diamond ear pendants. “They are extremely wearable and speak eloquently of the period in which they were made; a time of elegance and decadence,” she said.
According to Hardy, at the turn of the 20th century, as a reaction to the somber palette of the 19th century, lighter colors suddenly became very fashionable. Aquamarine, with its liquid-like luster and icy blue color, was perfectly suited to the new tastes of the day.
Fit for a Princess
Designed in 1932 by Cartier, this openwork aquamarine and diamond brooch was in the collection of H.R.H. The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden. The brooch was estimated at $4,600 to $6,440 when it hit the auction block at Christie’s London in 2016. Proving the power of a royal provenance, it realized $121,440.